Today’s goal…

to spend at least 30% of the day in an upright position.

Which would triple the output of the last eleven days, wherein I crawled from daybed to nightbed, dragging boxes of tissues, bottles of medicine, and an increasingly bored bernese mt. dog.


I have managed the first 18% of that goal by throwing the contents of the kitchen and garden into a large pot, now simmering away with chicken soup. With a few breaks in between to sip some hot tea and cough up a lung, I am upright, sitting in the office chair,  but basically upright, and catching up on the business that piled up while we were away in IRELAND !!!

The fairies were with us all the way, and they turned out to be the only two weeks since late July that I have been free of the plague. Brilliant !

I think the muses have grounded me upon my return so that I could linger in a foggy state and simply drift back to our time there and cement the whirlwind of images and experiences. It exceeded every single expectation, from the traveling companions, to the glorious weather that followed us, to the historical touchstones and meaningful connections, and on and on and on to the landscape and the people.

Here’s one of our favorites, An of Inis Oirr.

We spent a day on that smallest of the Aran Islands, with a bumpy wagon tour,a pint in the pub, a talk with Masie and Thomas, and Herself threw off her shoes and walked in the ocean.
An, or Anya (I’m sure that spelling is not right)  was the owner, waitress, chef at the little cafe at the top of the hill, just below the castle ruins. She fed us marvelous chowder and hot chocolate and smiled and laughed the afternoon away. Apparently Pat has wrangled a room in her B & B in exchange for light housework.

One of the bucket list items I got to cross off was buying a Bodhran, the Irish drum used in acoustic sessions, and it has just arrived here in grand shape from the little shop in Dingle. I did a bit of googling, and discovered that there is an annual Bodhran festival right there on the tiny island of Inis Oirr.

Check it out…

Already signed up to the mailing list. Bit of practice to do before I’m worthy of that group but we may take An up on her offer.

Be assured that this trip was a creative game changer and I’ll be sharing thoughts and images as they begin to move from the suitcase to the easel, but I am approaching that 30% threshold and I’ve got some paperwork to finish before this thing sits me back down.

Yours in tissues and dreams, H

Murphey’s Mid-Winter Music Magic

We bundled up and went over the river and through the woods to EY and Alice’s house for an evening of fine food, good company and great music. The Murphey’s are innkeepers at the E J Bowman House B + B in Lancaster, PA.

Where Alice is famous for her gourmet breakfasts and charming hospitality and EY is famous for gathering musicians and friends together so he can wander through the crowds joining in on the jam sessions with his tin whistles and his clever reparte.

Last weekend Pat and I joined in the merriment and I got to fulfill a life long dream of playing the Bodhran in an Irish band.

The evening started with a potluck spread out over three rooms and it wasn’t long before the musicians started one by one to play in a little nook in the front hall. By the end of the evening, with the crowd in full voice and brew inspired gusto, anyone with an instrument from harp to fiddle to guitars gallore and full throated keyboards, pipes and spoons and yes, bodhrans….was playing to bring the house down.

In this most welcoming and generous of venues, and in true Irish Session tradition, I pulled out me drum and me tipper and beat along to the lively tunes. The best part was the kind reception from the pros who admired my ebony tipper and showed me a few pointers on their sweet and beautiful Waltons Bodhrans.

When the skin on my old bodhran split a few years back I replaced it with a drum with a synthentic head. It’s tunable and the guys did get some terrific sounds out of it but it’s nothing like the velvety notes they were getting on the real deals. Of course they went to the emerald isle herself to pick theirs up. But then that’s another dream…

Meanwhile it was grand to step out of the studio and tap into the life source again…